BRANSON, Mo. (BNC) — “We love homosexuals.” So begins a Facebook post by the elders of the Branson congregation which has generated hundreds of comments and over 3,000 shares.
The post, made by elders Blaine Orr and Tim Kidwell, affirms love for homosexuals at the same time it appeals for repentance from sin.
The elders explained why homosexuality is different from racial issues.
People have no decision over their race, but they do have the ability to abstain, or, commit sexual acts. Individuals can cease practicing homosexuality. Because God condemns homosexual acts, it is a sin and those who practice, or condone those who practice, such things will not go to heaven (Ro. 1:24-31; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Lev. 20:13). God does not condemn what man cannot control.
The post made clear that it was passing on what God said about sin, rather than being a human judgment.
“We are willing to be accused of hate speech by those who hate God’s speech,” the post explained.
The entire text of the post is below.
To our friends and neighbors in Branson,
We love homosexuals. You read it correctly. The church of Christ in downtown Branson loves not only homosexuals, but also fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, sodomites, thieves, the covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners. We love all unrighteous people. Why? Because we have also been guilty of unrighteousness (Rom. 3:23). But because God first loved the world (Jo. 3:16; 1 Jo. 4:19), He, by His grace, has taught us how to become righteous (Ti. 2:11-14). For this we should be eternally grateful and desire to share this soul saving information with others (Ro.1:16).
The issue of homosexuality and same sex marriage is a moral issue. God’s laws concerning morals are everlasting. Moral laws never change. It has always been wrong to kill, steal, commit adultery, practice homosexuality, etc. From the beginning of time marriage has always been one man and one woman for life (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 1:27-28; Rom. 7:2-3).
Homosexuality is not a civil issue. Comparing it to the treatment of different races is like comparing apples to oranges. It is not the same thing. People have no decision over their race, but they do have the ability to abstain, or, commit sexual acts. Individuals can cease practicing homosexuality. Because God condemns homosexual acts, it is a sin and those who practice, or condone those who practice, such things will not go to heaven (Ro. 1:24-31; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Lev. 20:13). God does not condemn what man cannot control.
The practice of homosexuality is not genetic. It is a learned behavior. No reputable scientific study has drawn any other conclusion. We know that this message is not popular in today’s changing culture. But God has not changed (Mal. 3:6). Therefore we have no choice but to speak what God has spoken, regardless of what man may deem right or lawful (Acts 5:29).
It is not unloving, mean spirited, prejudice, hateful or unrighteous judgment to oppose sin. To speak where God has spoken is not passing wrongful human judgment (Mat. 7:1). To speak where God has spoken is to use righteous judgment (Jo. 7:24). We are only repeating what THE JUDGE (Ja. 4:12) has already proclaimed.
We do not expect people who respect man’s wisdom over God’s wisdom to agree with our stance (Isa. 55:8; 1 Cor. 1:25; 3:9). We do expect to be judged and, if possible, punished/persecuted by those who disagree with our sharing of God’s judgment (Jo. 15:20). Nevertheless, we refuse to be silent concerning issues that will affect a person’s soul.
Those who practice homosexuality have souls. Those who condone the practice of homosexuality have souls. God is not willing that any should perish (2 Pet. 3:9). Therefore, because we strive to have the mind of Christ and be imitators of Him, (1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 2:5), we also do not want those who practice homosexuality or those who condone its practice to be lost.
We, the church of Christ in downtown Branson, refuse to be numbered with the silent majority. God is not silent. Therefore, neither will we be! Because God desires the repentance of those who practice unrighteousness, we are willing to be accused of hate speech by those who hate God’s speech (John 17:17).
Are you living the life of the unrighteous? We love you, but our love for you is not capable of making you righteous. Only your obedience to God’s teaching can save you (Mat. 7:21). And it is because of God’s love for all people that no matter what transgressions any of us may have committed, the blood of Jesus can wash those sins away, if only we obey the gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:1; Gal. 3:27; Rev. 2:10).
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? … And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Come to Jesus. He will save you!
Elders for the Branson church of Christ,
Blaine Orr and Tim Kidwell
307 7th Street
Branson, MO 65616
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us